UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
~~. . -~- ^.r- .«»»*•«»•..*..__ BENJ. IDE WHEELER, President
COLLEGE OF AGR CULTURE
THOMAS FORSYTH HUNT, Deanand D.rector
BERKELEY h. e. van norman, vice-directoh and dean
University Farm School
CIRCULAR No. 201
HELPFUL HINTS TO HOG RAISERS
By C. M. VESTAL
The swine industry of the Pacific Coast states recently rose to the
most secure position in its history, when by an agreement the United
States Food Administration and the packers stabilized the prices of
market hogs. The agreement reads as follows :
The food administration deems it imperative that steps be taken to increase
hog production on the Pacific Coast. In order that producers may have confidence
that pigs farrowed this spring may be marketed at a fair price, the administration
hereby adopts the following minimum policy for the period during which similar
minimums are in force in the Middle West; the average price of packing hogs
bought by packers at the terminal points of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland,
Oakland, San Diego, Seattle, South San Francisco, Spokane and Sacramento will
not be less than 1 cent under the food administration minimum effective
on the Chicago market (such Chicago minimum now $15.50 per hundred). Any
packer may make it a condition for the maintenance of the minimum that he
shall charge any loss through condemnation by Federal or municipal inspection
to the raiser or shipper.
Among the packers who signed the agreement are: Western Meat Company,
San Francisco; Cudahy Packing Company, Los Angeles; Eoth-Blum Packing Com-
pany, San Francisco; C. Swanton & Son, Sacramento; Armour & Co., Spokane;
Union Meat Company, Portland; Universal Packing Company, Fresno; Chas. S.
Hardy Packing Company, San Diego; Hauser Packing Company, Los Angeles;
Oakland Meat Company, Oakland ; Miller & Lux, Inc., San Francisco ; Wilson &
Co., Los Angeles; South San Francisco Packing Co., South San Francisco; Moran
& Co., San Francisco.
The present urgent demand for increased pork production and
the assurance of good prices will cause increased effort on the part
of the regular producers and will bring into the business many who
have had little or no experience in raising and marketing hogs.
Therefore, a few pointers are here suggested for the purpose of
stimulating interest and giving aid to those engaged in the business.
ON FEEDING, CARE AND MANAGEMENT
Little capital is required to produce a few hogs and the profit
There fa a place on every farm for at least one sow and her pigs,
because there is waste feed that they will consume. Preventing waste
and producing pork is doing double service.
Careful Management and feeding of brood sows and pigs is the
way in which the wise hog grower doubles his chances of a good profit
in finished hogs.
Hogs are good scavengers but don't force them to prove it. Give
them a chance to prove it.
Raise two crops of pigs a year. It is a common practice in eastern
and central states. California conditions are more favorable than
those of the east for this practice.
Use the best boar that you can secure.
Have the sows in gaining condition but not fat at breeding time.
Feed the pregnant sows well but don't get them too fat. Liberal
feeding of alfalfa haj r , alfalfa meal, or wheat bran, with some grain,
helps to prevent over-fatness, furnishes protein, saves grain, and
keeps the bowels in good condition.
Plenty of exercise helps to prevent excessive fatness in brood sows,
keeps the boar in good condition, and assures good growth in well-fed
pigs. Arrange pens, feed troughs, and sleeping quarters so that
some exercise must be taken. Hogs on pasture usually get plenty of
Provide clean, comfortable quarters for the brood sow, especially
at farrowing time. Individual houses are cheap and handy to move
about. (If you want plans write to the Agricultural Experiment
Station, Berkeley, California.)
Arrange to have the sows farrow early. The early pigs usually
have the advantage of a better market.
Give sows that are suckling pigs plenty of milk-producing feed.
The cheapest gains are made by young pigs.
Feeder pigs can usually be raised cheaper than they can be bought.
Make a creep or separate pen for the pigs that are about three
weeks old. They are then ready to eat some solid feed. A mixture
of ground grain and wheat middlings, made into a thin slop with skim
milk is one of the best. Avoid barley hulls, oat hulls, bran and rough
bulky feeds. Ground oats and barley are good if the hulls are sifted
out. Do not over-feed but feed often, say three times a day, just
what they will clean up.
Save the best gilts and breed them to a good pure-bred boar. This
is the best method of building up a good producing herd. Keep the
sows that prove to be the most profitable producers.
Boar pigs which are intended for market should be castrated while
they are small, usually before weaning. This is the easiest way and
is best for the pigs.
Indian corn is the best fattening grain for hogs. Barley, milo,
and kafir are 90 to 95 per cent as efficient as Indian corn. They all
need supplementing with a protein feed.
Tankage, wheat middlings, cocoanut meal, linseed meal, soybeans,
skim milk and buttermilk are some of the best protein supplements
to use with barley, milo, corn and other low-protein grains. Of the
forage crops, alfalfa, clover, soybeans, cowpeas, and rape are the best
for supplying protein.
Barley, wheat, rye, milo, kafir, and other small grains should be
ground or rolled. Soaking serves the same purpose with barley,
wheat, and rye, but is not so good with the sorghum grains.
Soaking ground grain is unnecessary. Fresh slops are usually
safer than those which have stood for some time, especially in warm
It doesn't pay to cook feed for hogs. In many cases the feeds are
made less valuable. Potatoes and beans are, however, improved by
Pumpkins may be grown as an extra crop. They are fine for
brood sows suckling fall litters.
Forage crops cheapen production. Alfalfa, clover, rape, soybeans,
wheat, barley, and rye pastures are some of the good ones. Alfalfa
ranks at the top.
Pasture crops give the pigs a good start but it takes grain to finish
Young growing pigs should never be forced to live on pasturage
without grain. Give them at least two pounds of grain for each
100 pounds body weight.
Alfalfa pasture saves from 15 to 20 per cent of the grain for
fattening hogs. It saves a great deal more for brood sows and young
Feeding alfalfa hay in racks is good practice when the pasture is
gone. Try this for the brood sows. Fee* cattle and sheep the coarse
stems left m the racks. Nothing is then wasted.
Afalfa meal fed to breeding hogs helps to save high-priced grain
Don't force them to eat too much of it. It is bulky and hard to digest.
One-fourth to one-third, by weight, of the ration is about right.
Don't feed milk from tuberculous cows. The percentage of hogs
condemned is twice as high in California as in eastern states. Boil
the milk if you are not sure. Help get rid of the tuberculous cows.
It requires five or six pounds of skim milk to equal one pound
of grain for hog feeding. Whey is worth about half as much as skim
milk. Buttermilk not diluted is equal to skim milk.
Sour skim milk gives the same results as sweet skim milk in hog
Skim milk has its highest feeding value when fed in limited quan-
tities with grain or mill feed. Three or four pounds of skim milk to
one pound of grain is the best proportion for shoats. Four to six
pounds is better for small pigs, as they need more protein.
The hog is the cheapest producer of animal fat. Don't send him
to market in thin condition. It doesn't pay.
The most desirable market weights are between 200 and 250
pounds. Good hogs should be ready for market at these weights when
six to eight months old.
The most profitable gains are made by the young pigs. It pays to
give them a chance to get to market early.
A well-filled self-feeder and a thrifty shoat make a combination
which is hard to beat for quick returns, large profits, little labor and
Don't be afraid to turn a hungry pig to a self-feeder. He may
make a hog of himself, but it won't hurt him if he is intended for
Self-fed hogs should always have an abundance of good drinking
water if best results are desired. This rule applies to other hogs as
Tankage and wheat middlings are the best protein feeds to use
with the grains in a self-feeder. Cocoanut meal may also be used
with success but it is not so palatable as the other feeds.
Self-feeding breeding hogs is not a good practice unless the feed
is made bulky enough to insure a limited consumption of grain.
Alfalfa meal may be mixed with grain for this purpose, but it usually
does not work well in a self-feeder.
Good thrifty pigs weighing from fifty to seventy-five pounds may
be made ready for market in ninety or one hundred days if fed the
Salt should be either available at all times or given once or twice
a week. Feeding salt with the charcoal mixture is a good plan.
ON DISEASES AND PARASITES AND THEIR CONTROL
Eliminate the lice. Lousy hogs waste valuable feed. Crude oil
applied to the backs of the hogs with a brush will kill the lice. Dipping
or spraying with a coal-tar solution and repeating in eight or ten days
is another method. (Use a good brand of coal-tar stock dip. Direc-
tions for making solutions are usually printed on the containers. A
2 per cent solution is about right.)
Keep the sleeping quarters clean and well disinfected. Burn old
bedding or immediately haul it to some place where the hogs cannot
reach it. Spray quarters with a 3 per cent coal-tar solution. Lime
is also good if scattered about the lots and pens.
Keep lots, feed troughs, and watering places in sanitary condition.
Get rid of intestinal worms. The following remedies are good:
1. Turpentine is a common remedy and is easily obtained. Dose,
one teaspoonful for every 80 or 100 pounds live weight. Give daily
in milk emulsion for three mornings. Mornings are best because the
digestive tract is nearest empty at that time. Follow with a dose of
2. Withhold all feed and water for twenty-four hours, then give
each pig one to two ounces of castor oil to which has been added oil
of American wormseed as follows : Pigs weighing less than 50 pounds
one-half teaspoonful ; pigs weighing from 50 to 100 pounds one tea-
spoonful; large hogs, two teaspoonfuls.
3. Santonin, three to five grains, calomel, five to eight grains for
each hundred pounds of live weight. For small pigs give the large
dose per 100 pounds. For pigs weighing 100 pounds or more, give
the small dose. Mix with morning feed. Better results are secured
if a few hogs are treated at a time, because of a more even distribution
of the drugs.
Prevent worms and disease by keeping the hogs in a good healthy
condition. Keeping their surroundings sanitary is the best method.
Conditioners are also beneficial. A good conditioner may be made
as follows :
Charcoal % sack or 1 bushel
Wood ashes % sack or 1 bushel
Salt 8 pounds
Air-slacked lime 4 pounds
Sulphur 4 pounds
Pulverized copperas 2 pounds
Mix and put in self-feeder. Allow the hogs free access to the mixture.
At least, give the hogs charcoal, ashes, and salt.
If the pigs have thumps reduce their feed and give them more
exercise. Prevent thumps by plenty of exercise and careful feeding.
When the young pigs scour, reduce the sow's feed. If they are
running on grass, shut them up for a few days. Keep the beds and
pens clean and dry. Let in plenty of sunshine.
If the sow is feverish give her two or three ounces of castor oil. If
the pigs continue scouring, give them one to two grains of calomel
followed with one-half ounce of castor oil. A few drops of laudanum
may be used in acute cases of scours.
Good feed, exercise, and sanitary conditions constitute the right
mixture in preventive treatment. Preventive treatment is the right
treatment for scours.
Don't feed soured grain feed or let feed sour in the troughs. It
causes digestive disorders and scours, especially in small pigs.
Vaccinate against cholera. It may keep you from losing faith in
the hog business. (For hog cholera serum and virus apply to the
Veterinary Division, University of California, Berkeley, California.)
GESTATION CALENDAR FOR SOWS*
Date of I>« e to
Jan. 1 Apr. 22
it 6 " 27
<< 11 May 2
" 16 " 7
it 21 " 12
it 23 " 17
*t 31 " 22
Feb. 5 " 27 .
<< 10 June 1
it 15 " 6
it 20 " 11
it 25 " 16
Date of Due to Date of Due to
Service Farrow Service Farrow
May 1 " 20 Sept. 3 ' " 23
" 6 "25 " 8 " 28
" 11 " 30 "' 13 Jan. 2
" 16 Sept. 4 " 18 " 7
" 21 " 9 " 23 " 12
" 26 " 14 " 28 " 17
" 31 " 19 Oct. 3 " 22
June 5 "24 " 8 " 27
" 10 " 29 " 13 Feb. 1
" 15 Oct 4 " 18 " 6
" 20 " 9 " 23 " 11
" 25 " 14 " 28 " 16
" 30 " 19 Nov. 2 '* 21
July 5 Oct. 24 « 7 " 26
li 10 " 29 " 12 Mar. 3
" 15 Nov. 3 " 17 " 8
" 20 " 8 " 22 '.' 13
" 25 "13 " 28 " 18
" 30 " 18 Dec. 2 " 23
Aug. 4 ,. "23 " 7 " 28
" 9 " 28 " 12 Apr. 2
" 14 Dec. 3 " 17 " 7
" 19 " 8 " 22 " 12
" 24 " 13 " 27 " 17
" 29 " 18 " 31 " 21
ON LITERATURE AND INFORMATION
Send your questions "about hogs" to the Animal Husbandry
Division, University Farm, Davis, California.
The following bulletins and circulars are available :
Publications of the California Agricultural Experiment Station :
"Feeding and Management of Hogs," Circular 151.
"Hog Cholera Prevention and Serum Treatment,' ' Circular 176.
Write to the Agricultural Experiment Station, Berkeley, Cali-
Publications of the United States Department of Agriculture :
"Swine Management,'' Farmers' Bulletin 874.
"Breeds of Swine," Farmers' Bulletin 765.
"Hog Houses," Farmers' Bulletin 438.
" Self -Feeders for Hogs," Farmers' Bulletin 906.
"Killing Hogs and Curing Pork," Farmers' Bulletin 913.
"Castration of Pigs," Farmers' Bulletin 780.
"Tuberculosis in Hogs," Farmers' Bulletin 781.
"Hog Cholera: Prevention and Treatment," Farmers' Bulletin 834.
Write to the Division of Publications, U. S. Department of Agri-
culture, Washington, D. C.
* Based on an average gestation period of 112 days.
STATION PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE FOR FREE DISTRIBUTION
Enological Investigations. 274.
Humus in California Soils.
The Loquat. 275.
Utilization of the Nitrogen and Organic
Matter in Septic and Imhoff Tank 276.
Deterioration of Lumber. 278.
Irrigation and Soil Conditions in the 279.
Sierra Nevada Foothills, California. 280.
The Citricola Scale.
New Dosage Tables. 281.
Melaxuma of the Walnut, "Juglans
Citrus Diseases of Florida and Cuba
Compared with Those of California. 283.
Size Grades for Ripe Olives. 284.
The Calibration of the Leakage Meter. 286.
Cottony Rot of Lemons in California. 288.
A Spotting of Citrus Fruits Due to the
Action of Oil Liberated from the Rind. 290.
Experiments with Stocks for Citrus.
Growing and Grafting Olive Seedlings. 291.
A Comparison of Annual Cropping, Bi-
ennial Cropping, and Green Manures 292.
on the Yield of Wheat.
Feeding Dairy Calves in California. 293.
Commercial Fertilizers. 294.
Preliminary Report on Kearney Vine- 295.
yard Experimental Drain. 296.
Correspondence Courses in Agriculture. 164.
Increasing the Duty of Water. 165.
Grafting Vinifera Vineyards.
Alfalfa Silage for Fattening Steers. 166.
Spraying for the Grape Leaf Hopper. 167.
House Fumigation. 168.
The Control of Citrus Insects. 169.
Spraying for Control of Walnut Aphis. 170.
County Farm Adviser.
Official Tests of Dairy Cows. 172.
Melilotus Indica. 174.
Wood Decay in Orchard Trees. 175.
The Silo in California Agriculture.
The Generation of Hydrocyanic Acid 176.
Gas in Fumigation by Portable Ma-
chines. g 177.
The Practical Application of Improved 179.
Methods of Fermentation in Califor-
nia Wineries during 1913 and 1914. 181.
Practical and Inexpensive Poultry Ap-
Control of Grasshoppers in Imperial
Oidium or Powdery Mildew of the Vine. 184.
Tomato Growing in California. 185.
Round Worms in Poultry. 186.
Feeding and Management of Hogs. IS^.
Some Observations on the Bulk Hand- 188.
ling of Grain in California. 189.
Announcement of the California State 191.
Dairy Cow Competition, 1916-18. 192.
Irrigation Practice in Growing Small 193.
Fruits in California. 196.
Bovine Tuberculosis. 197.
How to Operate an Incubator.
Control of the Pear Scab. 198.
Home and Farm Canning. 199.
Lettuce Growing in California. 200.
Potatoes in California.
White Diarrhoea and Coccidiosis of 201.
The Common Honey Bee as an Agent
in Prune Pollination.
The Cultivation of Belladonna in Cali
Irrigation of Rice in California.
Irrigation of Alfalfa in the Sacramento
Control of the Pocket Gophers in Cali-
Trials with California Silage Crops for
The Olive Insects of California.
Irrigation of Alfalfa in Imperial Valley.
Potash from Tule and the Fertilizer
Value of Certain Marsh Plants.
The June Drop of Washington Navel
The Common Honey Bee as an Agent
in Prune Pollination. (2nd report.)
Green Manure Crops in Southern Cali-
Sweet Sorghums for Forage.
Bean Culture in California.
Fire Protection for Grain Fields.
Topping and Pinching Vines.
Small Fruit Culture in California.
Fundamentals of Sugar Beefs under
The County Farm Bureau.
Feeding Stuffs of Minor Importance.
Spraying for the Control of Wild Morn-
ing-Glory within the Fog Belt.
The 1918 Grain Crop.
Fertilizing California Soils for the
Farm Drainage Methods.
Progress Report on the Marketing and
Distribution of Milk.
Hog Cholera Prevention and the
Factors of Importance in Producing
Milk of Low Bacterial Count.
Control of the California Ground
Extending the Area of Irrigated Wheat
in California for 1918.
Infectious Abortion in Cows.
A Flock of Sheep on the Farm.
Beekeeping for the Fruit-Grower and
Small Rancher, or Amateur.
Poultry on the Farm.
Utilizing the Sorghums.
Winter Forage Crops.
Pruning the Seedless Grapes.
Cotton in the San Joaquin Valley.
A Study of Farm Labor in California.
Dairy Calves for Veal.
Suggestions for Increasing Egg Pro-
duction in a Time of High-Feed Prices.
Syrup from Sweet Sorghum.
Onion Growing in California.
Growing the Fall or Second Crop of
Potatoes in California.
Helpful Hints to Hog Raisers.